By Jac St. Jean
Six Springfield College teams competed this past weekend. Of those six, one team was not an athletic competition – unless using the thyroarytenoid, abdominal and diaphragm muscles to belt out notes counts.
Vocal Pride, the Springfield College acapella group, competed in the International Championship of Collegiate Acapella (ICCA) at the Berklee School of Music. The event took place in the Berklee Performance Center in Boston. This was the 2022 Tournament Northeast Quarterfinals, with the top two placing groups advancing to the ICCA Northeast Semifinal. Other teams the Pride competed against included the Berklee College of Music, Harvard University, Bentley University, Northeastern University and SUNY New Paltz.
The group’s directors Liv Tocchio and Alli Mowry were two of the twelve members that competed over the weekend. Though they represented one of the smaller groups in the event, Tocchio and Mowry were ecstatic to be on a stage performing.
“It’s kind of nice that we have a smaller group,” said Mowry, “because there’s more opportunity for a bigger proportion of the group to showcase [their talents].
“We kind of went in without too many expectations. We were going against Berklee College of Music, which is a music school, and some really big schools like Harvard and Northeastern who have a much larger pool [of students].”
This was Vocal Pride’s first competition in two years and Springfield College’s first time competing in the ICCA Northeast Quarterfinals.
“[It] was a huge accomplishment that we got invited,” Tocchio stressed, “because you do have to audition to get to the in-person round, so first you do a video audition and then you get accepted or denied from there.
“Hopefully we can try to get into some more [competitions], I have to do some research on what there is out there for more acapella competitions, but this is like the biggest one.”
Although Vocal Pride did not place in the top three, they were happy to meet other students from schools in Massachusetts and beyond, and share a collective passion for music.
“It’s a very welcoming environment,” Mowry expressed.
Tocchio added, “My favorite part about it is just how everyone shares a passion and it’s a very supportive environment. We were there for the whole day, so there were groups all day around us, and we got to talk to them, and we had so much time to mingle with people. It’s really cool to just meet all these people that are like-minded or at least share a passion for music and singing specifically.”
While Mowry, Tocchio, and the rest of Vocal Pride are uncertain about what’s next, they are hopeful that they will have more opportunities to showcase their talents and love for music and singing.
“We’re planning on having a spring concert before the end of the semester,” Tocchio said. “Looking into options for that, possibly outdoor… we’re still looking at options just because Fuller is booked, but we are planning on having a concert for the spring which is exciting because that’s something that I haven’t gotten to experience yet. I’ve only ever had a winter concert because of COVID and the timing of that.”
Mowry explained, “I think that with acapella, it’s not the type of program where groups are competing for money.
“It’s more about the competition and the fun of it, and the ability to showcase your talents and be recognized for that.”
If you are interested in joining Vocal Pride, contact director Liv Tocchio at email@example.com or DM @scvocalpride on Instagram.
Photo Courtesy Liv Tocchio